1. Why you were looking
forward to going to the ground (or not as the case
I always look forward to a good Stoke City awayday
that promises a great day out with family, friends
and the possibility of a rare away win for us.
Wigan had only won one game at home this season,
so we were all unusually confident of getting a
good result. The cheap price of £20 for a ticket
ensured that a large amount of Stokies travelled
North for this fixture. The fact that Stoke are
all but guaranteed another season in the Premier
League and have little to play for helped create a
fantastic party atmosphere.
2. How easy was your journey/finding the
We travelled to Wigan from Manchester, so the
journey only took about 25 minutes at the small
price of £3.90 return. When we arrived at Wigan
station, we followed the directions on this Football Ground Guide
website and briskly walked to the ground in about
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy....
home fans friendly?
Before the game we met up with up with some
friends at the Red Robin pub that's mentioned on
this site. Within about half an hour the pub was
packed and there was a great party atmosphere with
plenty of chanting. The staff were excellent and
coped very well with the large crowds. There were
a few Wigan fans wearing colours that received a
bit of grief, which might be expected if you go
drinking in the pub assigned to away fans.
However, I didn't see any trouble.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first
impressions of away end then other sides of the
My first impressions were that the ground is
fairly modern looking from the outside and is
situated in a great area. Families are well
catered for with a Pizza Hut, Frankie &
Benny's, Red Robin pub and a cinema right next to
the ground. The inside of the ground is neat and
tidy, but extremely plain and lacking in
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere,
stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The atmosphere inside the ground was just awful
and the worst home atmosphere I have ever
experienced. Wigan rarely sell out their ground
and as usual there were thousands of empty seats
in the home stands. The only home fans that made
any real noise were a small pocket of a few
hundred fans to the left of the away end, but they
were drowned out by the Stoke fans who were in
good voice all game. I can understand why Wigan
have been so poor at home throughout this season,
because I can imagine every game must feel like an
away match. Luckily for Wigan, Stoke decided to
put in their worst performance of the season by
some distance and gifted the Lactics only their
second home win!
The match itself was very poor and the only
incidents of note in the first half were the Wigan
forwards missing several sitters. Stoke were
extremely lucky to get to half time with the score
still at 0-0. During the second half we were even
worse than the first, gifting Wigan the lead with
some shoddy defending from a cross, allowing
Antonio Alacaraz an unmissable header. The rest of
match was utter dross football and Wigan put the
result in little doubt when the impressive Victor
Moses robbed the ball off the woeful Andy
Wilkinson, rounded the 'keeper and slotted into an
empty net to give Wigan a 2-0 win.
The facilities on the concourse weren't very good
and couldn't cope with the large away following -
the bar staff were very slow and the toilets just
weren't big enough. The match stewards were some
of the worst I have ever encountered, many Stoke
fans in front of us were moved from the rows
behind the goal and given no reason as to why.
Several fans who demanded a explanation had their
tickets taken off them and were manhandled from
the ground despite having done nothing to warrant
such treatment. This could have caused a massive
amount of trouble and was extremely irresponsible
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after
We left the ground and followed the crowds back to
the train station. We somehow managed to squeeze
onto a train full of Stoke fans and were back to
Manchester in no time at all.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Despite the poor performance we still had a great
day out. We rarely expect a Stoke away win, but
meeting up with other fans, making a bit of noise
and having a few drinks always make up for our
typically poor away performances. If Wigan stay
up, then we'll be back next season - hopefully our
team decide to turn up too!